When we told Julia Louis-Dreyfus that she and "Veep" lead Gold Derby predictions to win the Emmys for Best Comedy Actress and Series, she seemed pleased, but warned, "Now that everybody's voting, all bets are off. I'm not sure rules apply anymore."
She's right. Emmy pundits must now act less cocksure than usual considering that all 18,000 members of the Television Academy may vote in some races like Best Comedy and Drama Series. In past years winners were chosen by only about 1,200 voters after viewing DVDs of sample episodes. Now video is viewed on line. Voters are still restricted to their peer group categories when they veer beyond best series, but actors, for example, can vote in all acting races instead of just two.
Louis-Dreyfus has won Best Comedy Actress for the past three years in a row – plus she has two more Emmys: "New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Seinfeld." If she wins again this year, she'll be just two Emmys shy of tying Cloris Leachman for the record (eight).
"Watch your back, Cloris Leachman!" she roars, laughing, during our webcam chat. Then she sits back and adds, reflectively, "I adore Cloris Leachman. Will you ever forget her line in 'Young Frankenstein'" – she imitates a German accent – "He vas my boyfriend!"
"Amazing" is the word Louis-Dreyfus uses to describe her place in these hot award races. "I find this whole thing head-spinning," she adds. "It's hard to really understand it fundamentally, but it's gobs of fun and it's nice to be in the mix."
Watch our lively chat below, which includes her views on the past season of "Veep," what to think of the series' future with a new showrunner at the helm and why she chose "Election Night" as her Emmy episode to judges in the Best Actress race.
Oh, yeah, she also dishes Donald Trump.
"Yes, I would!" Louis-Dreyfus says when I ask if she would accept an invite to portray her "Veep" character Selena on "Saturday Night Live" and debate the real Trump. The face-off hasn't been offered, but she wouldn't shrink from the challenge, if posed.
Who would win the debate?
"Selena," Louis-Dreyfus replies firmly and gives a cheeky reason why she thinks so.
Photo: Victorious Julia Louis-Dreyfus at last year's Emmys. Credit: Jim Smeal BEI/REX